Do you have a strong willed, sensitive and intelligent child?
These powerful little people want to take on the world and do things on their own terms. This can be challenging. At their core these children want to feel, taste and breathe life. They want experience it. However, they want their own experience of it. Good I say. I was the same way. Still am.
For these children, hands on is a must. Cause and effect never gets boring. They want to push the envelope. I say let them. Here are some things you can do to go from power struggles to working together with a strong-willed, sensitive and intelligent child:
– Include them in discussion and decision making
– Let them lead and be in charge of an activity
– Let them plan a day (full stop)
– Let them wear what they want
– Give them REAL responsibility (and don’t save them)
– Allow them to experience real natural consequence
– Allow them to experiment
– Allow them lots of hands on working/creative time
– Allow them to take things apart
(seriously, I picked up an old TV from the street once)
– Allow them to break things (get appropriate safety gear and let them smash)
– Allow them to use tools (appropriately supervised)
– Let them light a fire and tend it. (supervised but not controlled by the adult)
– Can you think of anything else?
IF you do this. The strong willed child will relax a bit. Their most important needs of autonomy, curiosity and expression being met, they will stop fighting for every inch. This is my experience.
The big idea is to get out of their way. With appropriate safety precautions in place, back down on the micromanaging and let them experience the world.
I’ve done this with my own kids and with other children whose parents trusted me. The results were amazing. In an environment like this, children come alive, children feel valued and respected. Children learn about themselves and the world in which they live, deeply and personally. The is what this child is after.